Monday, March 12, 2007

Cars: More Than Just a Kids' Movie

First of all, I adore the Disney/Pixar movie Cars.

For those who have not seen it, here's a brief summary.

And now for the reason I'm writing this blog...

The Disney/Pixar movie Cars is more than just a kids' movie. It's a message to the people of America. That message: We need to slow down and look at all those things we bypass. Basically, "stop and smell the roses."

The main character, Lightning McQueen, is a race car who's only thoughts are about winning, and about speed. In the beginning of the movie he is selfish and his thoughts are about ditching those "rusty cars" who are his sponsors and moving up to a more prestigious sponsor.

McQueen is lost on the highway and finds himself on Route 66 on the way to California. He finds himself in a little "hick town" called Radiator Springs, a city on Route 66 that was lost when the interstate was built, bypassing the city. Because McQueen destroys the road, his punishment is to fix the road before he can leave and be on his way to California.

McQueen soon realizes that in this little town in the middle of the no where, things aren't as fast paced as they are in the city. One of the most important moments of the movie is when the love interest, Sally, asks him to "go for a drive." When McQueen asks where, she simply replies that she doesn't. It is at this point in the movie that McQueen realizes all that he's missing because he lives life so fast, he forgets to slow down and look around him.

Of course, the movie has a happy ending, with McQueen bringing business back to Radiator Springs and putting the city back on the map, but that's beside the point.

I know we all can attest to the fact that we live our lives way too fast. It's almost as if we're trying to get death to come for us sooner. There are people with their cell phone glued to their ear, while driving, while pulling on pants or fixing their make-up. Sometimes I wonder, when I see those people, what would happen to them if they just sat around for an afternoon, not doing anything of importance, and leaving their cell phone off and locked in a cupboard. I think their head would explode.

I remember what it was like when no one had a cell phone, the Internet was still a baby project and wasn't the vast information overload it is now, and parents didn't keep their kids on a leash (literally). If someone had to get a hold of you, they called your house, and left a message, and you would call them back upon returning home. They weren't able to call you while you were in the movies, or spending time with your family or in a restaurant.

People didn't used to walk so hurridly they looked like they would fall over if they tripped over the slightest crack in the sidewalk. I have reason to believe people were more polite, and has stress levels under what people have now.

I almost pine for those days, though I may have caught the tail end of them. I guess what I'm trying to say is: we should all slow down every once in a while, and see those things we bypass every single day while talking on our cell phone or driving 2o miles over the speed limit on the expressway. Where ever you're trying to get to in such a hurry probably isn't that important, and the world is not going to end if you don't speed.